Tuesday, January 8, 2002 @ 3:32 PM
(Inside Out Music/Century Medi
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More galloping power metal from Sweden, yee haw!!! Gothenburg’s Evergrey continue on in the time-honored tradition of Nevermore, Iced Earth and Brainstorm with their fiery brand of post-Maiden old school heavy metal. So what sets these guys apart from all the other countless power metal acts these days? Well, not much but they certainly are a capable band and have chops up the wazoo...it’s just that things get more than a bit schmalty here for my taste.
In many ways Evergrey is closer to Queensryche than, say, Saxon. Yeah, they are heavy in many spots, but they lean more towards theatrical epics than just straight up power. They employ some delicate piano (“State of Paralysis”), balladeering and lots of complicated prog-rock scales and runs. Check out the intricate riffing on “The Encounter” and “Watching The Skies,” where the kick drum is practically louder than the entire band -- you can feel the pulse in your brain as it pounds away like an evil metronome. On “Mark of the Triangle” (now that’s a song title!) Evergrey even throw in one of those ever-popular lush New Agey keyboard intros before launching forth with some heandbangin’ chuga-chuga guitar and ethereal lyrics about triangles of the twilight. Meanwhile, “Dark Waters” features some choir backing vocals that are pretty hokey. Why do some metal bands think it’s cool to put in a neo-classical vocal ensemble into a heavy metal song? Queen did it and made it work, but I really don’t think anyone else has used this technique to their advantage since. Really, do the words “rock” and “opera” ever need to be put together in any situation that doesn’t involve Pete Townshend or King Diamond? And here’s a random thought: is it me or does the intro to “Different Worlds” sounds like David Coverdale singing over the theme to Phantasm. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it sure is funny.
So yeah, In Search Of Truth gets a little silly sometimes. Evergrey need to steer the boat to heavier grounds more often rather than trying to wallow in all this classically influenced, overly dramatic, show tune-sounding stuff. Great players, decent songs, but too much brooding and weeping for my taste. I prefer my metal bands to rip my head off and fuck my girlfriend, not croon to me about shadow worlds, triangles and dark forests. I can get that from watching a Twin Peaks rerun and save myself the eighteen bucks for the CD….and get to look at Sherilyn Fenn.